A sagging sewer line can become a serious problem if you don’t fix it. Here’s what you can expect.
One flush. Two flushes. Three flushes. Four.
Once again, you have found yourself standing next to the toilet, pushing the lever and staring as the you-know-what spins round and round but refuses to go down. Don’t worry, it’s not you—it’s your sagging sewer line.
Then again, maybe you should worry. If something is wrong with your sewer line, you know it’s going to be expensive to fix. But just like your clogged toilet, a sewer line belly is not going to go away on its own.
In fact, it might just cause more damage if you let it sit, and that really stinks.
What is a sewer line belly?
A sagging sewer line, or belly, occurs when a dip forms at one or more spots along the sewer pipe. Most sewer lines use gravity to transfer waste from a home to the sewer. The water you send down the drain carries the solid waste down a sloping pipe that leads from your home to the main sewer system. Sometimes, the slope of a sewer line gets disrupted, which prevents the water and solid waste from moving freely to its destination.
What causes a sagging sewer line?
A sewer belly has many possible causes. Sometimes, the soil that supports a portion of the pipe settles, and over time the line begins to sag. Seasonal temperature changes, excessive rain, and poor soil compaction at the time the pipe was laid—all of these factors can contribute to a sagging sewer line. Other times, tree roots slowly push down against the soil and the sewer pipe.
When your sewer line begins to sag, you can expect to experience some common—and often nasty—consequences.
3 Nasty Effects of a Sagging Sewer Line
When you have a belly in your sewer line, solid waste can become trapped in the low-lying area of the pipe. As you send more and more waste down the drain, the solids can build up until your line is completely clogged.
Backed Up Sewer Line
If your sewer line is totally obstructed, you run the risk of a sewage backing up into your home. As you can imagine, the resulting mess is horrifying and can lead to the spread of nasty bacteria inside your house, which can become a health hazard if it is not properly cleaned.
Sagging sewer lines may also crack. When cracks form in your sewer pipe, the waste water can leak into your yard. Even a small crack can lead to big problems because the water that escapes can erode the soil and contribute to more severe sagging, which can contribute to further cracking, and on and on.
Want to prevent extensive damage from a sagging sewer line? Get an inspection today!
A sewer line belly is one of the last things you want to experience. For your peace of mind, if you suspect your sewer line may be in trouble, we suggest that you get it inspected.